Last week’s attempt to read seven books was slightly ambitious. Don’t get me wrong I gave it a darn good punt but social engagements (don’t I sound fancy) and hospital appointments meant that I didn’t get through them all. Boo hiss.

Never mind. I did get through the following whilst taking part in @Emmaiswriting’s #sunathon event:

What Happens to All the Men when they Move to Manhattan? by Jill Knapp @JL_Knapp

Before You by Amber Hart @AmberHartBooks

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight @AnouskaKnight

I was fortunate to be sent The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. Elizabeth Preston, a press officer at Simon & Schuster was lovely enough to send me a review copy. I am extremely grateful because this book had sat patiently on my Amazon wish list waiting to be bought. After I finished Since You’ve Been Gone I picked it straight up. So far I really loving it and a review will be posted later this week.

As for the books that I didn’t quite manage to get through, they will be carried over onto this week. Hopefully I will get through them. This will also include a new NetGalley download, Barefoot in Babylon. I’m hoping to have the review for this book posted on More Than The Music’s site. It is a music website that I write for so it seems fitting that a book about the most famous music festival should be posted on there too.

I had a few books sent to me this week (I also did cheekily order myself a few).

I bought Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I was accepted to review The Book of Life on NetGalley. I requested it before I realised it was the third in the trilogy. I had the first book on my kindle so I figure I will do a future post on the trilogy as a whole. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.

I also bought The Virgins by Pamela Erens which I am excited to read. Along with My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me by Hilary Winston; based on the blurb both of these books sound awesome. Finally, I treated myself to a second hand copy of Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. I have heard such mixed reviews about this book so I am going to give it a go and make up my own mind.

Finally, this week I wrote a review about a book that I didn’t quite like. No, that is wrong. I thought the book had a lot of potential but to me it just did not seem ready for publication which is a shame because it had a lot of promise. However, I felt bad about posting the review. Do any of my reviewer friends ever feel that? In my opinion I wasn’t mean about the book. I said what I didn’t like about it and the reasons why but not in a nasty or hurtful way. However, this guilty feeling was increased when the writer tweeted me apologising that I didn’t like the book. I felt so bad. The thing is that a lot of other people seemed to like it. She got a lot of positive feedback but I just couldn’t look past what I felt were glaring mistakes and inconsistencies. How do you handle a situation like that? I would love to know.

Anywho, another week – another TBR pile. Hope you all have a great book week. If you are in the country this week why not participate in the #staycation event which takes place from 28th July to August 3rd. For more information on this event then go to http://shazsbookboudoir.blogspot.co.uk/ or alternatively tweet Sharon @Shazsbookblog.

 

Synopsis

Holly Jefferson is a lonely woman. Her life consists of spending time with her dog, working in her cake shop and being the charity case of her older sister Martha who worries that Holly spends too much time alone.

The reason Holly is lonely is because she is a widow. Her husband Charlie died nearly two years earlier and in that time Holly has managed to alienate nearly everyone in her life. She has a routine of eat-sleep-work and it is the only thing that is getting her through the hard and lonesome days and nights.

However, after a chance cake delivery Holly meets someone who shakes up her world. Holly, begrudgingly and tentatively allows Ciaran Argyll into her world and it is through his tenacity and determination that Holly comes back to life.

But will the memory of her dead husband stop her pursuing happiness?

Review

Chick-lit often gets a bad name. Mainly from those who would consider themselves serious writers and in turn those who consider themselves serious readers. It is assumed that if a book has a light and fluffy cover or if it has a happy ending then it can’t at all deal with serious issues or be in anyway important literature. Those who think that are both prejudiced and wrong. Chick-lit is wonderful. There, I’ve said it and I stick by it.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the debut novel from Anouska Knight, an author she was brought to light by winning a talent competition featured on ITV’s Lorraine and Since You’ve Been Gone is a wonderful example of good chick-lit. It has everything you could want – a strong yet bruised by life heroine; a dashing yet misunderstood hero and a colourful supporting cast of characters to boot.

The comfort that comes with this book is that you know that the guy is going to get the girl. Yes, along the way there are going to be wacky misunderstanding and misconceptions between the two and yes there will be a few moments when you will yell “kiss him, you fool” at the book but that is what makes chick-lit the perfect read.

Knight has managed this beautifully. She makes you fall in love with Cairan along with Holly. When Holly feels guilty that she is betraying the memory of Charlie, her dead husband, you too feel her guilt and shame. Equal to all of that you desperately will Holly and Cairan to be together with all your might.

The good thing about chick-lit is that the majority of the time there is a wonderful happy ending. Anouska Knight will not disappoint her fans.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight is available in the UK. It will be available in America from July 29th 2014.

since you've been gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Anouska on Twitter – @AnouskaKnight

Synopsis

Holly Jefferson is a lonely woman. Her life consists of spending time with her dog, working in her cake shop and being the charity case of her older sister Martha who worries that Holly spends too much time alone.

The reason Holly is lonely is because she is a widow. Her husband Charlie died nearly two years earlier and in that time Holly has managed to alienate nearly everyone in her life. She has a routine of eat-sleep-work and it is the only thing that is getting her through the hard and lonesome days and nights.

However, after a chance cake delivery Holly meets someone who shakes up her world. Holly, begrudgingly and tentatively allows Ciaran Argyll into her world and it is through his tenacity and determination that Holly comes back to life.

But will the memory of her dead husband stop her pursuing happiness?

Review

Chick-lit often gets a bad name. Mainly from those who would consider themselves serious writers and in turn those who consider themselves serious readers. It is assumed that if a book has a light and fluffy cover or if it has a happy ending then it can’t at all deal with serious issues or be in anyway important literature. Those who think that are both prejudiced and wrong. Chick-lit is wonderful. There, I’ve said it and I stick by it.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the debut novel from Anouska Knight, an author she was brought to light by winning a talent competition featured on ITV’s Lorraine and Since You’ve Been Gone is a wonderful example of good chick-lit. It has everything you could want – a strong yet bruised by life heroine; a dashing yet misunderstood hero and a colourful supporting cast of characters to boot.

The comfort that comes with this book is that you know that the guy is going to get the girl. Yes, along the way there are going to be wacky misunderstanding and misconceptions between the two and yes there will be a few moments when you will yell “kiss him, you fool” at the book but that is what makes chick-lit the perfect read.

Knight has managed this beautifully. She makes you fall in love with Cairan along with Holly. When Holly feels guilty that she is betraying the memory of Charlie, her dead husband, you too feel her guilt and shame. Equal to all of that you desperately will Holly and Cairan to be together with all your might.

The good thing about chick-lit is that the majority of the time there is a wonderful happy ending. Anouska Knight will not disappoint her fans.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Anouska Knight is available in the UK. It will be available in America from July 29th 2014.

since you've been gone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Anouska on Twitter – @AnouskaKnight

Synopsis

Faith and Diego are from completely different worlds. Faith is the all-American princess; dance captain; student helper and daughter of the local pastor. She is considered to be one of the good girls; the girl who won’t let you down. However, this hasn’t always been the case. Underneath the long skirts and good deeds lies Faith’s deepest darkest secret; a secret she cannot let anyone know otherwise her world will come crumbling down around her.

Tattooed and buff, Diego is the living perception of a gang member. He has, however, left his gang lifestyle both in Cuba (where he is originally from) and in his past. The past has a funny way of creeping up on you though and whilst he battles everyday with trying to make a life for himself in America he is also battling with a local gang who are trying to recruit him as a member. Throughout all of this he is haunted by the memory of what happened to him and his family in Cuba and what made him and his father run away to America to begin with.

Beside their social differences both Diego and Faith have more in common than they originally thought and it is no surprise that they are attracted to each other. Can they be together or will their differences drive them apart?

Review

Before You is a classic Romeo and Juliet-esque romance; the two young lovers torn apart by outside influences. You could dismiss this book and say that you have read it all before but you would be foolish to do so.

The reason that Before You is so different from all the rest is due to the verisimilitude of the storyline. Gang culture is a fervent issue in America – especially among American youths – so the setting instantly draws you in. The storyline being set among high school students reminds you how difficult being young and in love can be, the pressures that you face – from your peers, teachers and parents – add on to that the instability of knowing who you are or who you are meant to be just adds another layer of intrigue to this story.

Besides all that, you really root for these characters to make it. There are some truly heart-stopping moments in this novel and Hart really manages to toy with your emotions but that is what makes it great.

I loved Before You. It is a good (an at times heartbreaking) novel of the power of love. You should read it and if you don’t…well more fool you.

Before You by Amber Hart is available from July 29th 2014

before You

Synopsis

Amalia is living the dream; renting an apartment in New York (albeit a flat share), working towards her degree; she has great friends and a gorgeous boyfriend and plans to spend the summer in Brazil. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, falling for her friend Michael probably wasn’t the best idea. However, as she pushes her feelings for Michael aside the rest of her world crumbles around her. Her boyfriend Nick dumps her, she systematically argues with her friends and she starts neglecting her college work.

On the plus side, Michael starts showing her some attention…even though he has a girlfriend.

Will Amalia be able sort her life out?

Review

Firstly, let me say this book had a lot of potential. It has a classic storyline of girl-has-boy, girl-loses-boy, girl-finds-new-boy as she discovers something about herself. The problem is that I failed to care about the characters because the plot was undeveloped. Everything happened at warp speed and there was not enough processing time given.

For example, Amalia was completely in love with her boyfriend but then by the end of chapter one she was in love – not just was attracted to – another character. So whilst we are meant to believe that Amalia was in love with Michael she seems overly devastated when Nick breaks up with her. It was inconsistencies like this (and plenty of others) that made the book uncomfortable to read.

Besides this, the text was littered with silly spelling mistakes that broke my concentration. A reader should not spend time correcting the grammar of the writer.

Overall, the book had potential to be something light hearted and enjoyable, however, due to inconsistencies in the text I found it to be an underdeveloped story that needed much more work before publication.

What Happens to Men when they Move to Manhattan? by Jill Knapp is available July 24th 2014

Men Manhattan